It's one of the things everyone has in common. It's the body's largest organ, and it averages about 20 square feet according to Women's Health magazine. Its skin, and there are several things that everyone can and should be doing to keep it healthy and looking its best.
Many remember to wash, but there are a lot of people out there who forget to moisturize. Moisturizing should be a part of everyone's skin care routine, and not just for the face. Moisturizing is so important to skin. It keeps it soft and looking young, but it's also essential in healing any sort of wound as well. Dry skin just can't heal, which is why many antibacterial creams or ointments designed to impart moisture into the skin as well as prevent infection. When shopping for moisturizer, look for one that contains glycerin or hyaluronic acid which can help keep skin soft and looking younger.
Here's a little known fact – lips have some of the thinnest skin on the entire body, on top of the fact that it's one of the things that makes the human face so expressive. Lips are given a workout each and every day, which means that it really needs some extra protection from the sun's harmful rays, and not in the form of bright red lipstick. Lip balms that contain at least an SPF of 20 can help keep skin cancer at bay, which when it begins on the lips can be particularly difficult to treat. Opt for one that is unflavored, as tasty lip balms will only encourage licking, which will dry lips out even more.
There are mountains of research that proves that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables does wonders for every part of the body, including the skin. Diets rich in antioxidant vitamins A and C are particularly helpful, and research also shows that supplements of these vitamins don't work quite as effectively. Be sure to eat a diet loaded with colorful fruits and veggies each day, and the reflection in the mirror will definitely thank you for it.
If breakouts are a problem, dairy products can make the problem worse, according to a study by William Danby, M.D., of Dartmouth Medical School. According to the study, the hormones that occur naturally in cow's milk may aggravate acne prone skin. However, calcium is essential for everyone, especially women, which is why soy milk is often recommended for those looking for a substitute for dairy milk. The one exception is women who are prone to estrogen-dependant tumors. Soy has been known to have estrogen-like effects on the body, which makes it great for easing menopause symptoms, but not great for those with estrogen-dependant tumors.
Anti-aging creams are essential, even for young women. The reason is that skin begins to age long before it begins to look old, so before the first signs of crow's feet or frown lines appear, reach for retinoid based anti-aging cream. They are available at most drug and discount stores for a relatively small amount of money, but they are great because they speed up the cell turn over in skin, meaning that skin regenerates faster, which can reduce the signs of aging.
Many skin care products contain ingredients that can be irritating to sensitive skin, as well as being less than environmentally friendly. So if being a good steward to the earth is important, or if extremely sensitive skin is a problem, look for products that are manufactured in Europe. The reason is that regulation throughout Europe requires companies to trace the origins of all ingredients back to the original source if they are claiming the product is all natural, or organic, or vegan or any other eco-friendly claim.
Here's a skincare tip that everyone can rejoice in, because after all, who doesn't like chocolate? Eating small amounts of dark chocolate is actually good for skin according to a German study. The reason is that the flavonols from the cacao nibs help protect skin from harmful UV rays as well as improve skin's appearance and reduce sensitivity. Just remember to steer clear of milk chocolate due to the fat content.
If the health effects of smoking aren’t enough to make people quit, it can also cause skin to age at an accelerated rate, even skin that doesn't typically see the sun, according to a study out of the University of Michigan. The good news is that no matter when a person quits, they will be doing their body a world of good, and benefits can be seen almost immediately. For more information, see How Smoking Affects Your Body And Appearance.
Stress can play a role in nearly every process and system in the body, and stress is often a factor in a number of illnesses. Stress can also make skin look older. According to the University of Manchester in England, there is a tremendous link between stress and skin problems. It's also known that stress can cause acne prone skin to have more breakouts. While avoiding stress may be impossible, if someone is under a lot of stress, then it's essential to be extra nice to skin.
Our skin plays such an important role in our lives. It's time we return the favor and show our skin just how great we think it is. By doing these simple things, we can take care of our skin, while taking care of ourselves.